Case Studies & Industry Insights

Concept Development in Mine Warfare Case Study

Case Study

Since the days of the Revolutionary War, the US Navy has had a love-hate relationship with naval mines, which have been long known as the “weapons that wait”. The US Navy deployed naval mines during both World Wars and since then has only used them on two other occasions: mining North Vietnamese ports in 1972 and mining the northern Persian Gulf in 1991 to prevent Iraqi naval craft from leaving their bases. In the 200+ years since the American Revolutionary War, legacy mines really haven’t changed much in how they function, how they perform or how they’re laid. However, as part of the AirSea Battle Concept (ASBC), the US Navy is on the cusp of a warfare transformation that could include advanced mines and delivery systems.

One such system is the Advanced Undersea Weapon System (AUWS). AUWS is being developed to overcome the US Navy’s lack of a surface mine-laying capability, uncertainty surrounding the availability of Air Force mine-laying resources and the development of a stealthy mine-laying capability, that may be years/decades away. AUWS will bridge that gap by providing the US Navy with an affordable alternative to getting advanced mining capabilities in the Fleet to answer ASBC and build on in-service programs.

This technology will provide advanced smart, mobile, and controllable mines, which will reduce required quantities and add tactical flexibility to US Navy operations. In close collaboration with Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), PURVIS Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), experts in Undersea Warfare (USW) and US Navy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), assisted the AUWS Customer Advocate with the definition and subsequent refinement of the AUWS concept. PURVIS’ support included:

  • Understanding existing systems and doctrine
  • Identify the actual or emerging problem and recommending/developing solutions
  • Identifying new technologies to overcome the problem
  • Determining what value the concept will bring to solving the problem
  • Identifying any competing or contradictory concepts
  • Writing, visualization and socialization of the concept

Additionally, PURVIS has utilized our extensive high quality graphics capability to take the AUWS concept and create detailed and visually accurate 3D graphics, and an animation. We’ve all heard the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”, well in this case PURVIS’ AUWS animation had a direct impact on US Navy leadership selecting AUWS as an Office of Naval Research (ONR) Future Enabling Capability for FY14. PURVIS’ AUWS animation visually demonstrated the capability and allowed US Navy leadership to easily absorb the concept, so they could clearly understand it and see the benefits such a capability will bring to the US Navy.

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